workplace diversity eeo compliance

Improve Workplace Diversity With Mobile Recruiting

When many of us think about mobile recruiting, we think of executive-level business professionals scanning their smartphones in search of their next C-suite position. We picture fresh-out-of-college millennials scrolling through job listings, searching for that exciting opportunity to jumpstart their career. Overwhelmingly, our imagery of mobile recruiting portrays upper-class, tech-savvy business professionals navigating top-of-the-line smartphones. The reality is, these personas aren’t representative of the Americans who rely most heavily on mobile devices to engage with job opportunities.

The Rise of “Smartphone-Dependent” Users Yields Surprising Implications for Workplace Diversity

With the proliferation of fast, reliable, affordable wireless service, Americans from every socioeconomic status are using their smartphones to access the internet. This phenomenon has given rise to the mobile-only internet user. Researchers are finding that these individuals, who make up 19% of the US population, are the ones most engaged in mobile job search activities. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at research conducted on these mobile-only users to uncover who they are and better understand how they utilize their mobile devices in the job search.

Smartphone-Dependent Users Predominantly Non-White

Recent studies have found that those who depend on their smartphones for internet access are predominantly non-white. The statistics below, uncovered from research conducted by the Pew Research Center and ComScore, highlight this trend:

  • -13% of Hispanics and 12% of African-Americans are smartphone-dependent, compared to just 4% of Caucasians 
  • -2 in 5 Hispanic millennials are mobile-only internet users  

From these findings, it is clear that there is a growing divide in how different demographic groups access the internet. This is especially true when we narrow in on how these different demographic groups search for and apply to jobs. Further research by Pew uncovered that 55% of both African-Americans and Hispanics used their smartphones to search for jobs in the past year, compared with just 37% of Caucasians. Additionally, African-Americans (31%) and Hispanics (26%) are far more likely to submit a job application from their smartphone than Caucasians (12%).

workplace diversity

Level of Education Influences Mobile Search Activity

Those with lower educational attainment levels also rely far more heavily on their mobile devices for conducting job searches and submitting applications. According to Pew, 9% of those lacking college experience are “smartphone-dependent.”  Furthermore, those with lower education levels also appear to utilize smartphones to complete far more advanced tasks related to the job search:

“Smartphone job seekers lacking college experience are substantially more likely to have used their phone for relatively advanced tasks, such as filling out an online job application (61% vs. 37% among college graduates). They are also three times as likely to have used their phone to create a resume or cover letter – fully 33% of smartphone job seekers with a high school diploma or less have created a resume or cover letter using their phone, compared with just 10% of those with a college degree.”

Mobile Apply Trends Seen Amongst Low-Income Individuals As Well

Low-income individuals constitute another demographic that has a strong positive correlation to mobile dependency and advanced mobile recruiting activity. Pew found that 13% of Americans with an annual household income of less than $30,000 per year are smartphone-dependent, compared to just 1% of Americans from households with an annual income of $75,000 or more. The graph below illustrates that lower income job seekers are more inclined to use their smartphone to get information about a job and submit an application.

workplace diversity

Why Should Employers Care About Smartphone-Dependent Users?

As mobile search continues to surpass search on traditional desktops, it is evident that companies lacking mobile-friendly career pages are missing out on many qualified candidates. More importantly, however, not offering a user-friendly mobile apply process can impact the ability for mobile-only applicants to successfully apply. Considering this in light of the statistics presented above, optimizing your careers page for mobile job seekers can play a big role in maintaining EEOC & OFCCP compliance.

Mobile Recruiting Is Key for Promoting Workplace Diversity

Beyond the law, promoting workplace diversity is also key for developing an innovative and successful company. Forbes contributor Ekaterina Walter claims that, ”Diversity breeds innovation. And innovation breeds business success.” On the surface this quote sounds great, however, many skeptics will argue that there is no statistical proof to support this in the business world. Fortunately, thanks to research carried out by reputed organizations such as Mckinsey and the Harvard Business School, there is now empirical data that supports the value of diversity in the workforce.

Mckinsey and Harvard Research Highlight the Value of Workplace Diversity

From 2008 to 2010, McKinsey researchers examined the executive boards of 180 publicly traded companies, focusing on the relationship between diversity and economic success. Through this observation, it was found that those companies ranking in the top quartile for diversity had significantly higher ROEs and EBIT margins than those companies from the bottom quartile for workplace diversity (infographic below). The Harvard Business School also carried out significant research looking to uncover whether diversity promotes innovation. From their research, the Harvard Business School came to the conclusion that multicultural environments promote far more creativity- “exposure to different cultures offers access to diverse ideas, promotes openness to new perspectives, and helps people link apparently disparate ideas to generate new ones.”

workplace diversity


Tips for Employers

To ensure that you are offering equal employment opportunities to all demographics and promoting workplace diversity, it is essential that your application process is optimized for mobile users. Below is a checklist of “mobile recruiting” must haves. Beyond these, your application process should also be tailored for an enjoyable candidate experience, meaning that it is responsive across all platforms so that candidates can apply from any source. In our next blog, coming out later this week, we will take a deep dive into the keys for optimizing your mobile recruiting process.

workplace diversity

Interested in finding out more?

Join us Tuesday, April 19th at 10 am PST / 1:00pm EST for our #nowmobile Bootcamp. In this month’s session, our co-founder Joel Passen will explain how to develop a unified mobile recruiting strategy and explore techniques for optimizing your mobile apply offerings.



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